Hello World, Quotes I Live By

Ankesh Bharti,quotes

Kicking off the hello world with some quotes I live by.

On code as a form of self expression

I write code in order to express myself, and I consider what I code an artifact, rather than just something useful to get things done. I would say that what I write is useful just as a side effect, but my first goal is to make something that is, in some way, beautiful. In essence, I would rather be remembered as a bad artist than a good programmer. - The end of the Redis adventure, Antirez (opens in a new tab)

On way of living as an artist

We tend to think of the artist’s work as the output. The real work of the artist is a way of being in the world. - The Creative Act: A Way of Being, Rick Rubin (opens in a new tab)

On blurred lives between artists and engineers

We generally use the word ‘artist’ to mean visual artist of some sort. I actually think there’s really very little distinction between an artist of that type and a scientist or engineer of the highest caliber. And I’ve never had a distinction in my mind between those two types of people. They’ve just, to me, been people that pursue different paths, but basically kind of headed to the same goal, which is to express something of what they perceive to be the truth around them, so that others can see it, so that others can benefit by it. - Oral history interview for the Smithsonian, Steve Jobs (opens in a new tab)

On the art of software building

I've just noticed that some coders have it in them to sculpt. They are sculptors, so you'll engage with someone, and they'll always come with a sculpting approach, and that's fine. That's just their style. Others prefer to paint, and as a team, we're painters, so we've realized this. - TigerStyle! (Or How To Design Safer Systems in Less Time) by Joran Dirk Greef (opens in a new tab)

On the humane elements of software architecture

The core problems in software architecture are driven by human psychology, not technology. - Chapter 6 - The ZeroMQ Community (opens in a new tab)

On expression appreciation for humankind by making something wonderful

There’s lots of ways to be as a person, and some people express their deep appreciation in different ways, but one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there. And you never meet the people, you never shake their hands, you never hear their story or tell yours, but somehow, in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love, something is transmitted there. And it’s a way of expressing to the rest of our species our deep appreciation. So, we need to be true to who we are and remember what’s really important to us. That's what's going to keep Apple Apple: is if we keep us us. - Make Something Wonderful, Steve Jobs (opens in a new tab)

On building software together

To be hardcore is to be wildly optimistic about what can be achieved tomorrow while harshly pessimistic about what works today. Creating software is an art. It is computer science and engineering. It is inspiration, and perspiration. It is inherently individual yet relies on a team. Most of all, building software is a group of people coming together to conjure something into existence and turning that into a product used by billions. That is hardcore software. - Hardcore Software: Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution, Steven Sinofsky (opens in a new tab)

On not listening to institutionilized experts

I had this crazy idea that I’m going to build a database engine that does not have a server, that talks directly to disk, and ignores the data types, and if you asked any of the experts of the day, they would say, “That’s impossible. That will never work. That’s a stupid idea.” Fortunately, I didn’t know any experts and so I did it anyway, so this sort of thing happens. I think, maybe, just don’t listen to the experts too much and do what makes sense. Solve your problem.- The Untold Story of SQLite, D. Richard Hipp (opens in a new tab)

On business ventures as a venue to express ideas

That said, I think for me, business ventures and products, in a way, are a venue to express ideas. And when I feel like I don't have something to express anymore within that space, that's when I start to think about a graceful exit. And that's what happened with Heroku. It was not only the six years that I spent on that product, but the couple of years leading up to it that I was getting into the world of Ruby and Agile and so forth. So after I don't know what it ended up being in total, let's say eight years, I felt like I didn't have a lot more to say and I thought very seriously about staying on longer.- Beyond Heroku to Muse, Adam Wiggins (opens in a new tab)

On not pondering what lies ahead too much

If I’d known how hard it would be I probably never would’ve have written it.- ACM SIGMOD interviews with DB people, Marianne Winslett and Vanessa Braganholo (2019), Richard Hipp (opens in a new tab)


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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings